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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

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母亲在公共场合哺乳是不雅行为吗? (Indecent Motherhood: Breastfeeding in Public)  

2011-08-30 08:30:00|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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母亲在公共场合哺乳是不雅行为吗? (Indecent Motherhood: Breastfeeding in Public) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 在过去的几十年,人们普遍鼓励母亲们用母乳取代奶粉来喂哺新生婴儿。各种调查显示,母乳喂 养的益处良多:大多数母乳喂养的婴儿都比奶粉喂养的婴儿更加健康聪明。由于对母乳的益处深信不疑,美国小儿科学会建议母亲在婴儿出生后一周年内对其进行母 乳喂养,这个建议也被很多热门的育婴书籍反复提出。然而,不管母乳喂养得到多么有力的支持,一些在公共场合哺乳的母亲却遭受非议甚至敌视。很多人似乎只支 持理论上的母乳喂哺,如果他们在现实中亲眼目睹这种行为,却会感到不自在。因此,女性在公共场合哺乳的权利必须受到联邦法的合理保护和母乳喂养提倡者的全 力支持。


Over the past few decades, there has been a widespread effort to encourage mothers to breastfeed their newborn children instead of using formula. According to numerous scientific studies, the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous: breastfed babies as a whole are healthier and smarter than formula-fed babies. Because of this confidence in the benefits of mothers' milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies for a full year after birth, advice that is echoed by popular parenting books. However, despite this overwhelming support of breastfeeding, some mothers experience opposition, even hostility, when they breastfeed at public locations. Many people seem to favor breastfeeding in theory, but feel uncomfortable if they actually have to witness it. For this reason, a woman's right to breastfeed in public must be protected by federal law and by a devoted community of breastfeeding advocates.


Breastfeeding is by no means an easy task for new mothers. Babies metabolize their mother's milk very quickly, meaning that they need to be nursed at frequent intervals throughout the day and night. Unless mothers accept being confined to their homes with their infants, they will inevitably at some point have to nurse while in public. Most mothers who breastfeed in public try to be as discreet and modest as possible, employing shawls and special nursing shirts to hide their breast from the public's gaze. Nonetheless, there are some who believe that breastfeeding in public is indecent. Not too long ago, a host on an American talk show compared breastfeeding in public to public urination. Every few months or so, there are reports of women being reprimanded or forced to leave when they attempt to breastfeed in public locations. Among the most recent of these incidents, a woman was asked to leave an all-woman's gym after a staff member saw her nursing her child on a bench in the facilities.


Incidents such as these inevitably provoke indignation and criticism from the media and online parenting communities. This outrage stems not only from the fact that nursing in public is an inescapable facet of breastfeeding, but also from the fact that in the United States, a woman's right to breastfeed in public is protected by law in most places. Forty-five out of fifty states have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location and federal law requires that employers give women ample break time and a sanitary location to express milk if they are using a pump to help breastfeed their children. In addition to these laws, a woman's right to breastfeed in public is vigilantly guarded by an active and supportive community of other breastfeeding mothers. After a recent incident in which a nursing mother was asked to leave an art museum, dozens of women staged a “nurse-in,” in which mothers gathered and breastfed their children at the spot that the original woman had been asked to leave. Nurse-ins are an increasingly popular tactic used by nursing mothers to show support for one another and to educate the public.


As the women staging nurse-ins recognize, education is a key component in removing the social stigma often attached to breastfeeding in public. The more people understand that breastfeeding in public is often unavoidable and that women have a legal right to nurse in public, the less likely nursing mothers are to be harassed for caring for their children.



你认为在公共场合哺乳是不雅行为吗? (Discussion Question: Do you think there is anything indecent about breastfeeding in public?)



Sources:

"Breastfeeding Laws." National Conference of State Legislatures. N.p., Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. 
     <http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14389>. 
Du Lac, J. Freedom. "Dozens plan 'nurse-in' at Hirschhorn to highlight right to breast-feed in 
     public." The Washington Post 9 Feb. 2011: n. pag. The Washington Post. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. 
     <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/08/AR2011020805742.html>. 
Kennedy, Lesley. "Women-Only Gym Made Woman Leave for Breast-Feeding Her Son." More 17 Aug. 2011:
More.com. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. <http://www.more.com/breastfeeding-in-public>.
Smith, Claire Bidwell. "Breast-Feeding in Public: Natural or Indecent?" Huffington Post. N.p., 8 
     Sept. 2009. Web. 29 Aug. 2011. 

Image:
By Eulàlia Torras. Imagen cedida a ALBA LACTANCIA MATERNA para difusión de la lactancia [CC-BY-SA-2.5-es (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/es/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
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